Thursday, July 30, 2009

new reviews in cyberculture studies (august 2009)

each month, RCCS Reviews pumps out free, full-length reviews of books about contemporary media and culture. this month, RCCS Reviews features 9 reviews of 4 books with 3 author responses! books of the month for august 2009 are:

Playing the Past: History and Nostalgia in Video Games
Editors: Zach Whalen, Laurie N. Taylor
Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press, 2008
Review 1: Carly A. Kocurek
Author Response: Zach Whalen

The Internet in the Arab World: Egypt and Beyond
Author: Rasha A. Abdulla
Publisher: Peter Lang, 2007
Review 1: Antonio A. Garcia
Review 2: Laurence Raw
Review 3: Natasha Ritsma
Author Response: Rasha A. Abdulla

The Pleasures of Computer Gaming: Essays on Cultural History, Theory and Aesthetics
Editors: Melanie Swalwell, Jason Wilson
Publisher: McFarland, 2008
Review 1: Dave Jones
Review 2: Alex Meredith
Author Response: Melanie Swalwell

Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture
Author: Geert Lovink
Publisher: Routledge, 2008
Review 1: Liz Ellcessor
Review 2: Tricia M. Farwell
Review 3: Madeline Yonker

enjoy. there's a little bit more where that came from.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

a more green classroom

last year, in my three courses - intro to media studies, digital media production, and eating san francisco - i included the following rule:

No drinking out of non-reusable containers. Be creative with your thirst-quenching solutions.

at first, a few students grumbled and complained but within a week or so, students got the hang of it. students began bringing to class beautiful, multicolored, reusable bottles filled with homemade tea and canteens filled with coffee they brewed themselves or bought at the campus cafe. substituting glass bottles filled with delicious - and free - california tap water for plastic bottles of water and soda, we saved a ton of money over the course of the semester. but best of all, we all became a bit more mindful of our daily actions and the need for all of us, individually and collectively, to change our behaviors and change them quickly.

as i begin to think about my fall course, i'm curious to hear other strategies for a more green classroom. i'm also curious to hear from students - both those who have taken my courses and those who haven't - about what they think about such rules.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

team siena

last saturday, july 11th, our daughter siena malia was born. both the baby and the mama are healthy and beautiful.

now, so much is happening - so much to learn, so much to do, so much to take in - and all my instincts point forward. but for a moment i want to look backwards, briefly and humbly, and thank team siena, a collection of people, nearly all women, who helped us get to where we are now.

before siena's birth, sarah and i gained both knowledge and confidence by workshops sponsored by UCSF's women's health resource center and UCSF's osher center for integrative medicine. we learned a lot about labor - and life - from nancy bardacke's mindful birthing program and a lot about breastfeeding from sabrina rascon's breastfeeding workshop.

siena was born at UCSF's children hospital, where she - and we - received constant care and attention from nurses, midwives, and lactation consultants like aislinn bishop, karen "fabulous" cullen, sabrina miller, therese moran, sarah norse, dawn reidy, and melanie vose.

jini washburn, sarah's mom and my mother-in-law, was a huge part of team siena. jini was there throughout the delivery, offering encouragement, massages, support, and love. thanks jini.

kathy woo was our doula. kathy is a force of nature. at every twist and turn, kathy offered superhuman support. a week after the delivery, i'm still trying to figure out how kathy did the things she did. thank you kathy.

sharon wiener was our midwife. sharon was there during the first trimester, the second trimester, and the third trimester, and, miraculously, was at the hospital during the delivery. when sharon spoke, sarah listened. when sharon said push, sarah pushed. and when sharon said "let's have your baby," we had our baby. thank you sharon, again and again.

thank you team siena.